by Jason Decker

Jason Decker is a junior at Liberty High School in Issaquah, Washington. Last year, at Halloween time, he wrote a paper on the subject for his English class. While the school district has banned all references to Christmas and Easter, it promotes a great Halloween experience. Jason felt he needed to take a Christian stand at the school, and this article is a slightly condensed version of that effort.

What is Halloween? A time for ghost stories, Jack-O-Lanterns, black cats, costumes, parties? Right? That is what I used to think; Halloween was a time for kids dressed in cute costumes of witches, ghosts, and devils coming to your doors yelling, "TRICK OR TREAT!" That's not all there is to it. There is more to Halloween, much more!

Halloween is still seriously celebrated by many satanic and witch covens today. How do the Halloween traditions we see in our society relate to genuine witchcraft?

Halloween can be traced back thousands of years to the ancient Celts and their priests, the Druids. October 31st marked the passage from summer to winter. It was the beginning of the Celtic new yearSamhain, a dreaded night when bonfires were lit to Samana the lord of death, the dark Aryan god known as the Grim Reaper.

On this night it is said that spirits of the dead rose and walked the earth. Wiccans say this is the best time for communication with the dead. Halloween is still celebrated in Wicca as one of their Eight Seasonal Festivals, a ritual during which they ask the dead to "Return this night to make merry with us."

One of my sources, Bill Schnoebelen, a priest in satanism and the high priest of a Wiccan coven for almost 15 years, says that he and his fellow Wiccans would supposedly call up spirits such as Jesus, Merlin, or Alester Crowley (a satanist who called himself "The Great Beast") who would come and talk in normal conversations on Halloween during their rites. He said that they used to cast spells on the countryside giving the spirits access to possess whomever they pleased. They especially cast spells on the children going "Trick or Treating."

They believed they were helping people because the spirits shared their "wisdom" and helped the victim to "evolve" spiritually. They did not realize the harm they did because they were blinded by their own spirits. This had to be done on the night of October 31st, because it was All Hallows Eve, the night before November 1st, "summer's end when the powers of the underworld are felt to be growing, with its gates opened and all its forces let loosethe evil as well as the good."

November 1st, All Saints' Day, was a Catholic feast day established during the 7th Century. It was the day the Catholics set aside in memory of the martyrs. November 2nd was the day to pray for the souls in purgatory. Another name for All Saints Day was All Hallows. October 31st was known as All Hallows Evelater shortened to Hallowe'en.

Today this is unseen, just the way witches prefer it. Quiet, so they can be left alone. But you don't have to look far for their influence. Halloween's spirit is seen in the horror movies released in association with the seasonHalloween I, II and III; Friday the 13th series, or Nightmare on Elm Street. Even on TV, there are plenty of slasher flicks. These are typical of what our society today accepts as fine and in the spirit of Halloween. It reveals the dark spirit behind the masks of the Halloween of today.

Black cats, ghosts, Trick or Treats, Jack-O-Lanterns, costumes, and masks all have associations to Halloween. Yet, each has been commonly used by witches all the way back to the ancient Druids.

Occult symbolism is applied to most Halloween activities in which we participate. Just as people offered gifts of food to the spirits, people today offer treats to the kids who represent spirits by dressing up. The Jack-O-Lanterns are symbols of the torches of former Halloweens and the ancient Samhain fires.

Chosen villagers disguised themselves and cavorted from house to house collecting the ancient equivalent of protection money, and then drove the spirits out of that village. They carried Jack-O-Lanterns to light their way, often just a turnip or potato with a fearful face carved into it which they hoped would intimidate the spirits around it. Other stories say that the Druids went around, collected money and then cast a protection spell and left a Jack-O-Lantern to tell the demons they had been there.

Remember the old saying, "It's bad luck for a BLACK CAT to cross your path"? Well, it can be almost so. During the centuries the cat has lived with humans, it has alternately been worshipped as deity or cursed as a demon. In ancient Egypt the cat was revered as a god. To the Druids they were dreaded as people changed into animals by evil powers. That is the reason they wove them into wicker baskets and put them in the Samhain fires. Cats often serve witches as "familiars" (spirit helpers). Their "magic" eyes led people to believe that cats were seers, with strong mediumistic powers.

People hide behind all sorts of "masks." Some hide behind hats and others behind dark sunglasses. In primitive societies a mask was more than a means of changing one's appearance; it was a link with the spirit world, a channel by which men could tap the forces of the supernatural. The mask was believed to change a man's identity and faculties, for the assumed appearance was believed to affect the wearer's inner nature and to assimilate it to that of the being represented by the mask.

Bill Schnoebelen told me a covener would often dress up as a god or as Samana the prince of darkness (otherwise known as Set or Satan) and become possessed by the personality of the represented beast.

This whole idea of kids dressing up like ghosts is actually a mask worn by Satan to make reality seem like the ridiculous. Once we look at this dark side of Halloween as foolish, we accept the evil as a common cultural tradition and find ourselves blinded spiritually to the truth.

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